At the start of the Obama presidency, many climate change advocates felt that they had an opportunity to achieve meaningful government action on global warming. Although the House of Representatives passed a cap-and-trade bill in 2009, there was little White House action on this issue during President Obama's first term. Instead, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change largely took a back seat as the president pursued health-care reform. In his second inaugural address, Obama signaled a shift in focus, stating, "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."
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